Car extras add little to value
with Acting Consumer Protection Commissioner David Hillyard CONSUMER Protection has concerns about the value of add-ons being sold to people buying motor vehicles in WA.
There’s been a recent increase in complaints to Consumer Protection about the vehicle ‘extras’ sold at the point of sale, such as extended warranties, rust proofing, paint and fabric protection, and window tinting. Costs may be rolled into a finance deal, which can be very costly in the long run when you are paying interest on the total amount owing.
Before saying ‘yes’ to aftersales products, make yourself aware of the general market price for the items offered. If you do not shop around, how do you know it’s value for money?
You might also ask yourself why the manufacturer is not providing certain after-sales products with their vehicle. In most cases the simple answer is that the manufacturer does not believe the vehicle requires these additional products.
In our experience consumers often sign up to buy things that will only add cost, will not increase the value of the car and may not deliver what they think it might. It is important to remember you do not have to purchase things such as window tint, seat fabric protection, body paint protection or rust preventer at the time you buy a vehicle.
After-market products can be bought at a later date if you are still keen. However, after driving a car for a little while you may realise you no longer want, or need, particular after-sale products and that’s another reason to wait. Another consideration is whether adding certain items that are not recommended by the manufacturer can jeopardise the warranty.
Speaking of warranties, seriously consider the value of an extended warranty being offered. It is likely that the protections are already available to you for free under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). With new vehicles, the normal manufacturer’s warranty combined with ACL cover is usually more than sufficient.
Be mindful that some extended warranties offered for sale have restrictions and conditions you must comply with.
Car dealers may offer what appears to be a good finance deal but you should carry out some loan comparisons before settling.
General information about buying cars is available on the Consumer Protection website www.commerce.wa.gov.au/motorvehicles and enquiries can be made by emailing consumer@ commerce.wa.gov.au or by calling 1300 30 40 54.